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View Full Version : Ukulele Review: Jupiter Creek Solid Concert Electric Uke



vahn
03-18-2009, 09:48 PM
My Jupiter Creek Arrived from Australia, and after having it for a couple days I feel like doing a review. Here are the stock photos:
http://www.jupitercreek.com/ebay/366-cu-06march09-1.jpg
http://www.jupitercreek.com/ebay/366-cu-06march09-2.jpg
http://www.jupitercreek.com/ebay/366-cu-06march09-3.jpg

This thing is a beauty. While the only negative thing I could find about Jupiter Creek, review wise, was in regards to finishing, the job on this little guy is top notch. The only finishing issues I saw AT ALL were on the bridge, originally for 6 strings, the 2 outer string lifters (terminology?) had been removed and there are small scuff marks on the chrome from where they were previously. This is understandable and OK with me, it doesn't ruin the finish for me.

At first, since it is electric, I thought I wouldve liked it better painted (I didnt have this one custom ordered, I snagged it off of E-Bay) but overall I think the natural finish is the only thing keeping it Uke-like besides it's size, (25" overall, concert size) so now I'm glad it's not painted.

It's really heavy, solid mahogany, and a bit thick. The fretboard on this thing is insane (22 frets!!!) and while it's hard to play the top frets, it IS POSSIBLE, EVEN DOWN TO THE 22ND FRET ON THE A STRING!!! the concert scale is new to me, I've only had cheapo sopranos and tenors, and this fretboard seems rather mandolin-like to me (as usually concerts have much less frets)

What really impressed me about this little guy is it's versatility. At first I felt this thing would be almost a novelty, i mean its got real pickups so its pretty much just a small 4 string guitar, tuned up a fifth. But if you run it clean through an amp, fiddle with the tone nob, and play the steel strings with your thumb (ouch!, sometimes) It still sounds like a Ukulele! At least as much as a Uke ran through a piezo. To be completely honest the steel strings/pickup is one of the best features of the uke. To me the piezo captures the attack and the sound as a whole (as a function of design) so you dont get the same sound as a uke live, when playing amped. But this is great for amplified fingerpicking stuff. And if I play above the 7th fret (I can actually play chords pretty easily up till about the 15-17th, surprisingly) it sounds like Mandolin. Especially if you run it through a pedal with a bit of chorus, just enough to fake that second string.

Obviously, run it with a little distortion, play some powerchords, and this little uke does one mean guitar impression. And with the Les Paul body style who can resist a little Sweet Child 'O Mine. I absolutely love this thing, I can't say it enough.

Sad to say, though, I'm not keeping it.
http://c3.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/32/l_0dbb91600f5a4eb49f1c47a8c46bf85a.jpg
As a Father, a Guitar player, and Uke player, theres about nothing cooler in the world to me than this picture.

Though my son has had a ukulele since he was born (throwaway sopranos) This little guy finally peaked his interest. He finally played his first chord!! (C) His fourth birthday is coming up next month, and I'm giving him the "guitar ukulele" as he calls it. Don't feel bad for me though, I think I'm custom ordering a Tenor. Double Cutaway. With a pickgaurd.. *fights back UAS* Ok I gotta go play this thing for a bit now.

I seriously recommend this to anyone, as a great addition to any uke collection, as a great alternative for electric guitar while jamming with buddies, as a party attraction, as a serious little player. You could probably throw some mandolin strings on this with great success also.

deach
03-19-2009, 02:32 AM
Awesome picture of your son.

Any sound samples?

psesinkclee
03-19-2009, 03:06 AM
Fantastic photo! It looks like one solid instrument :)

CulpRJ
03-19-2009, 06:55 AM
I have one too! Here's a pic:
http://www.geocities.com/nigeldeon/uke/cu-04july07-1.jpg
I agree with what you said. It's a fun little instrument, more of a novelty for me, not my main player. Mine needed a bit of work to get set up right, but nothing major. I've used it in a couple videos for anyone who wants to see and hear it in action.
I Want to Break Free (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m25X11g6uXo)
Fell in Love with a Girl (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4aLB-r57gE)

Have fun with it and your custom job too.

Cheers.

carpekd
03-19-2009, 07:38 AM
Nice pics and review... I've always wanted a jupiter creek solid body tenor.

Where do you get the steel strings for it?

vahn
03-19-2009, 11:28 AM
well with the concert, so far I've kept the stock strings on, but in theory you can use any electric guitar strings. holding my concert to my squier affinity strat (which already has a bit of a short scale) i see that a string on an electric would be at the proper tension on my concert on the ninth fret. So I would use a set of extra light electrics the ADGB strings for GCEA. Also since its a 6 string pickup, those middle strings would be the right frequencies since there the middle four strings on guitar.